The team calls the number Jane left them, and agree to meet her employer, “Aaron Johnson”. Rooster realizes that this is in fact Ehran the Scribe. Ehran tells the team that he wants them to track down a 3rd artifact, starting in (relatively) stable Northern Europe this time, as opposed to a feral city. They agree, and Zuberi tells Ehran that if he can participate in whatever ritual the artifacts will someday be used for, he will forgo pay. LS warns Ehran privately that Zuberi is insane and dangerous. Ehran tells the team that they will meet Jane in Europe, where she will give them more details, but that they are traveling seperately due to Samriel Lockwood tracking them all on the last job.
They head to NYC via Ricky Steelsky’s cousin, Angela, and booka transatlantic flight to Hamburg, AGS. Zuberi agrees to be magecuffed and hooded during the flight, as opposed to sedated, as he will not willingly deactivate his quickened spells. The rest of the team passes security with fake licenses and SINS, along with Rooster’s social hacking, with no major problems. Thay arrive in Hamburg and meet Jane at the hotel. She tells them to find a local data broker, Hardy Wagner, but to be cautious as the local Vory and in a turf war with Dutch Penose gangsters.
The team finds Wagner’s apartment, burned out, although he wasn’t there. Some Vory approach and tell them to get in touch if they find Wagner. Rooster also meets some Penose at a bar, who tell him to help Wagner if he gets a chance. They also leave a message on Wagner’s comm, and are called back by a young ork named Jan Brecht, who arranges to meet them the next day during a political rally. They agree, and he makes them all run a CARE program so that they can find him in the crowd (and he will know where they are, to avoid ambushes).
They meet, and convince him they are not Vory or Interpol just in time, as the rally turns violent. They escape and follow Brecht through a series of sub-basements, service tunnels, and old vaults and fallout shelters, which are all in various states of flooding and decay. They are ambushed by merc’s (of unknown employ) who seem to also be seeking Wagner. They fight them off, but take some injuries, and don’t capture any of the merc’s for interrogation. Brecth takes them the rest of the way, and they find Wagner at a Penose safehouse in the tunnels. He agrees to give them the name of the thief who stole the artifact in exchange for getting him out of town- they agree, and hire a smuggler to take LS, Zuberi, and Wagner, while TY and Jane take the train, and Rooster (posing as Wagner and magically disguised) heads a different way. Then, they will tell the Vory where “Wagner” (aka Rooster) went, to avoid making enemies.
Rooster heads to Copenhagen, while the rest of the team heads for a rendevouz in Europort, to the west. Smuggled via jetski and powerboat, LS and Zuberi arrive first and get the name from Wagner: Malcolm Carella, aparently the leader of a Europort based heist crew called ’The Loose Cannons." Meanwhle, TY tells Jane his personal history, hatreds, goals, etc, and she offers to try to hel him reclaim some of his missing memories. He agrees and she roots around in his brain for a while, and provides a significant amount of info to him, regarding the Gilgamesh Initiative, and their role in his life. She also causes him to question his long-standing hatred of Mujaji and the Xhosa people, as well as the basis of his superstitions. LS, meanwhile, is freaking out that this is happening, as he worries it will trigger TY to go on a rampage.
They all meet at the hotel, LS having told Zuberi that they may ned to kill TY. Zuberi tells TY this, and they all decide to have a talk- LS also reveals what he knows about the GI and TY’s past, and TY overcomes a supersitious urge to murder everyone in the room. Zuberi insists everyone participate in a Dark Realm blood ritual to cement their alliance, and they do. While doing so, LS discovers that they all have nanites in their systems. When Rooster arrives (having appeared at a number of Copenhagen spots as Wagner, and then come to Europort from there), he also does the ritual and is discovered to have nanites.
They decide to go to a local well-regarded blacksite clinic, and get the nanites flushed, and also get TY’s cyber scanned to see if it’s hiding anything. They do so, and it turns out that the Carjakkr in his arm appears to have been fried when he went prying into it, although they also discover, disturbingly, that he has a hardened comm hardwired into his brain that isn’t giving off any wireless signals, in addition to his implanted comm. TY opts for brain surgery to remove the suspect 2nd comm, although his superstition is telling him not to. The surgery suceeds (although it it’s quite expensive), and the surgeon places the mystery comm (with a conspicuous GI logo on it) in an inert gas storage container to attempt to avoid triggering any self-destruct mechanisms. They are also attempting to continue sending it brainwave signals based on a scan of TY to make the comm think it’s still wired in. TY asks Jane for a favor, and she says she will call a friendly hacker to investigate it, in return for a future favor from TY (and team).
The rest of the team heads back to the hotel to try to start tracking down Carella while TY heals in the hospital (assisted by LS’ healing magic). The team manages to make a local contact, Jakob Schultz, who gets them a meeting with the Loose Cannons. TY decides to ship the secret GI comm from his head to the hacker Jane found, and sends it off. He also spends some time researching Carella while hospitalized, and finds out that he is in a secure Regulus JI-run detention facility, apparently relating to an Interpol investigation of some acts of corporate espionage. TY finds rumors that these acts were carried out on behalf of Saeder-Krupp.
TY also checks up on events on Mars, and finds out what has happened to his old teammates UltraBoy! and Tobias Cheney: A Betrayal on a Distant World. LS, Zuberi, and Rooster head to the meet with the Loose Cannons (minus Carella apparently) at a local bar. They find a seemingly capable runner team that appears to be a bit lacking in the magic department, although they are savvy enough to note that they are dealing with 3 awakened runners, and are on guard for spellcraft. The LCs are planning a frontal assault prison break to bust Carella out, although there is some dissension amongst the team as to whether they should go through with it. LS, Rooster, and Zuberi agree to assist in exchange for Carella’s promised cooperation, but also start thinking up alternative possibilities to get in and meet Carella.
Meanwhile, TY breaks into the prison’s node, and finds the security assets list before getting chased out by the on-site rigger and some hostile IC.